Visiting Friends and Family Abroad
Visiting friends and family abroad can be like going to a second home, but you should treat your trip abroad like any other and make sure you are aware of the current rules for travel.
Even if you've been to the country many times before, you should still set aside time to prepare and check the latest information. Visiting a home from home abroad should be treated like any other holiday overseas.
Here’s what you need to remember when visiting friends and family abroad:
- Make sure you get travel insurance - without it you might be landed with a hefty bill if you need unexpected medical treatment in an emergency.
- Check that the policy is suitable for your needs, particularly if you have existing medical conditions and find out if your cover is affected if you are a dual national.
- Goodtogoinsurance.com are experts in cover for medical conditions and can cover residents of the UK, regardless of their nationality, so long as you have been living in the UK for at least 6 consecutive months, have a permanent UK address and are registered with a UK GP. Your trip must also start and finish in the UK for cover to be valid.
- Check that your passport is still valid. In some countries it needs to be valid for six months after your date of return, otherwise they could refuse you entry.
- It is particularly important to check this now that the UK has left the EU. Some countries require your passport to be issued less than 10 years ago, even if it is still within the expiry date, and/or require you to have at least 6 months left on your passport. Check the rules for your destination: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
- Take a copy of your passport and travel documents with you
- If you have dual nationality, there might be benefits to travelling on one of your passports, but not the other.
- If you need a visa for the country you are travelling to, don't be tempted to overstay it as you could be given a hefty fine and may not be allowed to return.
- Find out what vaccinations, if any, you should have before visiting your destination. If you've been visiting a country for years, it might be that some of your vaccinations need to be renewed.
- Many countries may now also require you to have a covid-19 vaccine or may have different rules if you are unvaccinated.
- If you're visiting a country that is prone to malaria, take antimalarials. If you've lived there before, it doesn't make you immune to the disease
- Visit https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations for the latest information on vaccination requirements for different countries.
FCDO travel advice
- Visit the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s travel advice by country pages for all the latest information on travel rules, entry requirements and the local situation, which may have changed since the last time you were there.
Check the latest information: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Presents and souvenirs
- When you visit friends and family, you might want to take presents or bring souvenirs home with you. Find out what you are allowed to take with you and what you can bring back to the UK.
- Products made from endangered animals or plants, as well as meat and dairy products are not allowed to be brought back into the UK. There are also often limits on the value of goods you can take into a country.
Find out the rules on what you can bring back to the UK: https://www.gov.uk/bringing-goods-into-uk-personal-use
- Some countries may still have additional checks and rules relating to Covid-19. You should make sure you are familiar with the regulations for entering your destination country. A good place to start is the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s travel advice by country pages.
FCDO travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice